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There are great benefits to connectedness, but we haven't wrapped our minds around the costs.

a secret hope
Topic: Miscellaneous 7:40 am EDT, Jul  6, 2015

Victor Hwang:

There is a natural power at the edges of frontiers. When you go fishing, the best places to drop your line are at the transition points, where light meets dark, shallow meets deep, fast meets slow. The same is true for human life. When you go searching for your fortune in life, look for those transition points. That's the frontier.

Henry Grabar:

The mapping powerhouse Rand McNally started selling maps in order to boost their main business, which was printing tickets for railroads. Maps didn't just fulfill needs; they created them.

Alastair Humphreys:

That was the only hard part, really. Just going. Committing. Making it happen.

Charles Simic:

Even today, a kind of exhilaration comes over me roaming an unfamiliar city, a fear of being lost and a secret hope that I am. In the meantime, how much more alive I feel, how much more readily my eyes notice things and how much better my mind and imagination work.

Raffi Khatchadourian:

The universe is being built in an old two-story building, in the town of Guildford, half an hour by train from London. About a dozen people are working on it. They are scheduled to finish at the end of this year.


Sean Murray stopped at a star cluster and admired its density. Finally, overcoming his hesitancy, he picked a destination. "I can't promise if this is going to be interesting," he said. The map vanished. He was back in his cockpit. His hyperdrive kicked on. Then all of space blurred, and the ship hurtled into the unknown.

a billion dollar con
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:48 pm EDT, Jul  4, 2015

Michael McCaul:

I commend our law enforcement and intelligence professionals for disrupting so many plots recently, but we cannot rely on our defenses alone.

Joseph Menn:

Jim Lewis, an advisor to the U.S. government on cybersecurity issues and a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said there are limitations to cyber offense.

John Prisco:

The reality is that cybersecurity is a corrupt industry that needs bad guys to stay lucrative. Major security technology vendors are running a billion dollar con by selling software that they know won't work.

Thomas Fuentes:

Keep Fear Alive. Keep it alive.

Jeff Atwood:

A ransomware culture ... does not feel very far off ...

the cacophonous noise of the whole damn thing
Topic: Miscellaneous 1:48 pm EDT, Jul  4, 2015

Robert M. Lee:

Accurate information sharing is important for developing the appropriate case-studies and lessons learned to drive better defenses and resource investments.

Shane Harris:

The FBI said it was sending the alert again because of concerns that not all companies had received it the first time. Apparently, some of their email filters weren't configured to let the FBI message through.

Catherine Zimmer:

Finding it increasingly impossible to recognize and affectively react only to the articulations of each missive, I respond instead to the cacophonous noise of the whole damn thing. That noise is now constant, while its volume ebbs and flows with the rhythms of the work year. As the only constant, email becomes an end in itself. Email never goes away. Email is an asshole.

Once I send an email, I can do nothing further until someone sends an email back, and thus in a sense, sending that email became a task in itself, a task now completed. More and more it is just a game of hot potato with everyone supposedly moving the task forward by getting it off their desk and onto someone else's, via email.

massive, serious, incredible
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:54 pm EDT, Jul  2, 2015

JJ Thompson, CEO of Rook Security:

[Safeguarding fiber-optic telecommunications lines] is a massive challenge for municipalities, governments and Corporate America to deal with.

Jeremiah Grossman:

The truth is organizations are spending an incredible amount of money on security companies that can't guarantee their services.

An unnamed "influencer":

If everyone is getting "hacked" our cybersecurity strategy is not working.

Robert Graham:

CyberUL is a dumb idea. It's the Vogon approach to the problem. It imagines that security comes from a moral weakness that could be solved by getting "serious" about the problem.

SQLi, phishing, bad passwords, and lack of patches are the Four Horseman of the cybersecurity apocalypse, not software quality. Unless you are addressing those four things, then you are doing essentially nothing to solve the problem.

glaring, serious, resounding
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:54 pm EDT, Jul  2, 2015

Trevor Hughes and Jessica Guynn:

The pattern of attacks [on fiber-optic telecommunications lines] raises serious questions about the glaring vulnerability of critical Internet infrastructure, said JJ Thompson, CEO of Rook Security, a security consulting and services provider in Indianapolis.

Michael Adams:

The U.S. government either doesn't understand or is obfuscating the national-security implications of this cyberattack. These people either need serious help or need to come clean now.

Steve Ragan:

What if records were not only taken, but some were added as well? Would OPM be able to tell?

Benjamin Wittes:

Would somebody ... really want to go through such an intrusive examination, knowing all the while that the examination itself might (will?) expose that person and their family at least to scrutiny by the likes of Russia and China, as well as possible social and professional embarrassment?

I have no way of knowing myself, but I can understand if the answer for many people -- at least until the gov'ment cleans up its act -- is a resounding "hell no."

a criminally profligate waste of the citizenry's attention span
Topic: Miscellaneous 10:15 pm EDT, Jun 30, 2015

An exchange:

David Sanger: There's a lot we miss every day. I go to work every day convinced that I've got a handle on fully 3% of what's going on, okay?
Stewart Baker: [laughing] The key is [that] you can persuade us it's the most important 3%.
David Sanger: [laughing] That's right. [laughing] That's right.

Emerson Brooking, on "Ghost Fleet":

Readers are spared the months of frustrated cabinet meetings, angry congressional hearings, and endless hand-wringing within the defense bureaucracy.

Dan Geer, on OPM:

Even talking about whether to fire someone is a criminally profligate waste of the citizenry's attention span.

John Oliver:

No one cares. [Americans] don't give a shit.

The Economist:

When your most important ally is ringing alarm bells it is a good idea to listen.

Wendy Shanker:

There's very little you can say in 10 minutes that you couldn't say better in five.

Kari Paul:

A friend told me a girl he never actually hangs out with frequently sends him 15 minute voice memos talking about what she did that day, decidedly a breach of voice message etiquette. "I've never actually listened to anything she's sent me," he told me.

Anil Dash:

Out of about 550,000 followers on Twitter, it's very common for fewer than 400 of them to click on a link I share.

a good crisis
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:58 pm EDT, Jun 30, 2015

Lauren Clark:

It's good to have a plan, but if something extraordinary comes your way, you should go for it.

Barack Obama:

I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America ... hereby declare a national emergency ...

Katie Moussouris:

One must never waste a good crisis.

Arik Hesseldahl:

Peiter Zatko, a respected computer security researcher better known by the nickname Mudge, says he's leaving his job at Google to explore ways to help U.S. government make software more secure.

talent show
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:52 pm EDT, Jun 30, 2015

Joe Davidson:

OPM said the system will be down four to six weeks, which will cause delays for those seeking background investigations.

Bob Stratton:

It may take decades to truly assess the consequences of this breach ...


OPM is taking this step proactively, as a result of its comprehensive security assessment, to ensure the ongoing security of its network.

Dan Kaminsky:

What, you think OPM's the only hacked agency?

Ashley Garrigus, a spokeswoman for the Bureau of Consular Affairs:

While switching to the backup system, we discovered that the data was damaged and unusable. We deeply regret the inconvenience ...

The Bureau of Consular Affairs:

The database responsible for handling biometric clearances has been rebuilt and is being tested. We are working to restore full biometric data processing.

Safety Research & Strategies:

It would be near impossible for NHTSA to ever pin an electronic failure on a problem buried in software. NHTSA didn't even have any software engineers ... They have no real expertise ...

Ben FitzGerald, director of the technology and national security program at the Center for a New American Security:

There is a lot of talent out there ...

Arik Hesseldahl:

Peiter Zatko, a respected computer security researcher better known by the nickname Mudge, says he's leaving his job at Google to explore ways to help U.S. government make software more secure.

no worries
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:59 pm EDT, Jun 29, 2015

Nicolas Colin and Bruno Palier:

Technology doesn't only allow old things to be done better and cheaper; it also opens up new potential business models and the means to satisfy previously unidentified needs.

Rachael King:

Vehicle-to-vehicle communications, as envisioned by U.S. regulators, would broadcast the position of every equipped vehicle 10 times per second to similarly equipped cars and trucks within 1,000 feet of each other for the purposes of crash avoidance, said Michael Shulman, a technical leader at Ford, and program manager for CAMP's Vehicle Safety Communications Consortium.

Drivers won't need to worry about the technology, because it will be managed automatically.

Andy Greenberg:

Nearly all modern vehicles have some sort of wireless connection that could potentially be used by hackers to remotely access their critical systems. The company's protections on those connections are "inconsistent and haphazard" across the industry. And in addition to security weaknesses, Markey's survey also found that many auto companies are collecting detailed location data from their cars and often transmitting it insecurely.

James Comey:

The Internet is the most dangerous parking lot imaginable.

a powerful leap into an astonishing future
Topic: Miscellaneous 9:58 pm EDT, Jun 29, 2015

Cornelius Baur and Dominik Wee:

We define Industry 4.0 as the next phase in the digitization of the manufacturing sector, driven by four disruptions: the astonishing rise in data volumes, computational power, and connectivity, especially new low-power wide-area networks; the emergence of analytics and business-intelligence capabilities; new forms of human-machine interaction such as touch interfaces and augmented-reality systems; and improvements in transferring digital instructions to the physical world, such as advanced robotics and 3-D printing.

Michael Fertik:

Say goodbye to Big Data as a dominant concept -- it's time to recognize its evolutionary next leap: Big Analysis.

James Gleick:

Humans seem to crave the precision that is available.


DHS has already begun to revamp cybersecurity defenses to incorporate the powerful potential of big data security analytics.

Gary Bernhardt:

Consulting service: you bring your big data problems to me, I say "your data set fits in RAM", you pay me $10,000 for saving you $500,000.

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